MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we show why a single data point deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is supported by Cinq Music Group, a technology-driven record label, distribution and rights management company.
In the live music business there is currently a lot of discussion about “data vs. data”.
Some advocate a plethora of caution as leading markets begin vaccinating their way out of Covid-19 lockdowns. Others argue that for a live music industry that has been almost completely destroyed by the effects of the coronavirus, a full reopening cannot come soon enough.
The more optimistic side of this discussion points to early data on the effectiveness and rapid roll-out of vaccinations in the UK – something that promises to fill the fields with festival goers much sooner than many feared. According to the optimists, the UK’s vaccination success could, if necessary, be further boosted through test screenings of events themselves.
Wherever you sit in this conversation, one thing is certain: young music fans long for a party.
Earlier this week, based on the early good news of a speedy introduction of vaccinations in the UK, the UK government tabled a roadmap that, as of today, would see major music venues reopening in the UK with no audience limit on June 21st.
Live Nation and its affiliate Festival Republic didn’t hang around after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement on Monday (February 22nd).
The companies quickly announced that their Reading & Leeds Festival – an annual festival held in two locations across the UK with a total capacity of around 180,000 people – would be held between August 27-29 this year and tickets would be on sale.
A tweet from the official Reading & Leeds account read: Following the recent government announcement, we can’t wait to get back to the fields this summer. LET’S GO.
One of this year’s headliners, Liam Gallagher, summed up the feeling a bit more succinctly: READING n LEEDS Come on, you fucker LG x
MBW’s statistics of the week: Following a government announcement suggesting major UK events reopen in June, two Live Nation festivals – Reading & Leeds and Creamfields – have collectively sold 170,000 tickets in just three days.
As of today (7:00 a.m. ET, February 26), all Reading weekend and day tickets are completely sold out. Weekend and Saturday tickets for Leeds are also sold out. Day tickets are only available for Friday and Sunday.
Another major festival run by Live Nation UK – Creamfields, which focuses on electronic music – also has tickets on sale this week. Creamfields, which calls itself “THE party of summer” between August 26th and 29th, has announced in the past 24 hours that its 2021 event will sell out completely “in record time”.
Yesterday (February 25th) Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, delivered some amazing numbers regarding the demand for these two festivals.
Rapino confirmed on Live Nation’s fourth quarter 2020 earnings call that Reading & Leeds had sold 100,000 tickets in 72 hours this week and that Creamfields had sold its total capacity of 70,000 in just 48 hours.
Rapino told the analysts: “We see … what we talked about: [fans] I look forward to going back to the show as soon as we open the green lights in these markets. “
After a year of uncertainty, Creamfields and Reading & Leeds celebrated their quick ticket sales on social media this week
This quick sell-off of events in the UK has understandably put Rapino in an optimistic mood.
He was asked yesterday for the latest news regarding the reopening of arenas in New York with a capacity limit of 10%.
Rapino replied: “[We] haven’t done a lot of work in business with 0% to 50% capacity. We don’t see this as a viable model to start up again [considering the] Fixed costs. “
Instead, Rapino spoke of his confidence – based on discussions with governors in key US states – that “a clear view of 75% to 100% capacity” for US outdoor events is likely to have the green light in 2021.
“[We] I think we’d better wait for a high capacity moment in most states to boot up and talk to the artists about getting paid properly, ”Rapino said, adding the prospect of a reopening greater than 75% The largest US markets were “in sight”.
In other positive news for Live Nation investors, Rapino noted that the refund rate for rescheduled Live Nation concerts remained unchanged at 17% in the fourth quarter of 2020 – the same number the company had seen in the previous quarter.
The Live Nation manager noted, “For the tours that went through a second refund window, refund levels were generally much lower for them [that] second window, as the casual fans requested their refund in the first window ”.
Rapino also confirmed that 63% of fans at the postponed festivals where fans were able to keep their tickets for the same event in 2022 kept their tickets on instead of asking for refunds.
According to the BBC, over 18.6 million people in the UK have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine – the equivalent of one in three adults on the market.
The headliners of Reading & Leeds 2021 include Liam Gallagher, Post Malone, Stormzy and Queens Of The Stone Age.
Melvin Benn, MD of Festival Republic, told NME last month, “The [UK] Prime Minister has said 88% of hospital stays and deaths will go away once those over 70 and frontline workers are vaccinated. The Minister of Health said, “When that’s done, cry freedom”. I cry freedom. At this point I say let’s move on. “
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